12:41PM, Friday 13 December 2013
THE man in charge of a firework display held on the night of a disastrous motorway crash which killed two people from Windsor has been cleared of breaching health and safety laws.
Geoffrey Counsell was cleared after a judge at Bristol Crown Court ruled he had no case to answer.
Mr Counsell was the contractor who ran the firework display at Taunton Rugby Club, near the site of the 30-car pile-up on the M5 on November 4, 2011, in which seven people died.
Prosecutors said smoke from the display contributed to the crash - but the judge decided Mr Counsell could not have foreseen that smoke from the display would mix with fog to blind drivers.
Emma Barton, who lives in Westmead, Windsor, lost her father Michael and sister Maggie, both from Windsor, in the crash and was in a coma for a week.
Her boyfriend Chris Barton was driving and escaped serious injury. The couple later married.
More than 50 street parties are set to take place this weekend across the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and the surrounding areas.
An independent report into a Conservative councillor has found a breach of the Royal Borough’s code of conduct in a document seen by the Advertiser.